INDIA'S FORGOTTEN WAR – blogging naxalism.


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Just started the blog today and have put some links up. As I aim to be as politically neutral as possible, I will link to any and all sites with usefull information, analysis or opinion on India’s forgotten war. Thought I’d start with two that hold… umm… disparate views.

Written by Michael

April 18, 2009 at 8:34 pm

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India’s Forgotten War

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I first developed in interest in India after spending a year in Delhi working as an intern for an international NGO.  The brashness of her emerging arriviste class, the expansive dynamism of her major cities, the juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane, the disarming squalor, and the ingenuity and resourcefulness of her people was both fascinating and disorienting.

Living in Delhi I was able to enjoy 21st century material and social comforts. Regular internet access, espresso’s and the day’s morning paper at the local cafe and the occasional drink at one of the city’s many fashionable nightclubs.

Whether this life represented a ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ India is largely irrelevant. It is an India which is a world away from the lives of most of her people. The work I did gave me a chance to escape from the myopia of expatraite Delhi life and spend time in forgotten villages among people who are among the poorest and most oppressed on the planet.

While I eventually left India, I was determined to return. A few years later a former course mate of mine suggested that I take up a job in Chennai at her organisation. I jumped at the chance and returned in 2007. It was then that I developed a keen interest with 21st century revolutionary Maoism and the so-called Naxalite insurgents.

Indian Maoism is fascinating to me because it is something which, like so much else in the country, the new India of imported cars, upscale cafes and stock options is inclined to ignore. India is ablaze and the urban elite only notice the faintest hints of a fire… a bomb here, an attack on the police there… nothing to be troubled about.  ‘Islamic’ terrorism, as the recent spate of horrific attacks shows, threatens the cities and wealthy. Naxalism predominately affects the country’s poor and marginalised. This is a mistake. The government and India’s elite ignore the Maoist insurgency at their own peril. It is a movement which has not only survived but has grown in strength precisely because India has failed to create a society and an economy which provides meaningful opportunities for many of her people. Until this changes, India’s Maoists will continue grow and may one day be able to disrupt the comfortable lives of the urban elites.

Naxal War is a modest attempt to fill in the glaring information gaps which exist on a conflict that has seen far too little interest both domestically and internationally. I will link to the latest academic studies, press reports, combatant releases and anything else relevant to India’s left-wing insurgency. I aim to be an unbiased source for anywone interested in India’s forgotten war. And I will rant.

Written by Michael

April 18, 2009 at 8:32 pm

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